SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — The term “vote early” has been sung repeatedly this election season, but what does that mean?
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, if you’re registered to vote in California, you will receive a ballot in the mail. ABC10 compiled a list of all the dates you need to know, starting this October and leading all the way through December.
Here’s all the dates you need to know:
Monday, Oct. 5: Ballots mailed/drop boxes open.
- Monday, Oct. 5, is the day ballots will begin to be mailed out to registered voters.
- If you’d rather pick up your ballot, you can head to your elections office and pick up your ballot starting Monday, Oct. 5.
- This is also the day that 58 ballot drop box locations will open across Sacramento County where you can drop off your completed ballot. These locations include all Raley’s and Bel Air stores, as well as Sacramento County Public Libraries. Click here for a full list of ballot drop box locations.
Friday, Oct. 16: No ballot? Reach out.
- If you are registered and haven’t received your ballot in the mail by Oct. 16, election officials recommend you reach out to your local elections office to ensure everything is alright with your registration.
Monday, Oct. 19: Voter registration deadline (by mail)
- If you haven’t registered to vote yet, Oct. 19 is your deadline in order to receive a ballot in the mail. You’ll still be able to register and vote in-person up until election day. You can register to vote or check your registration status here.
Thursday, Oct. 22: Recommended date to get your ballot back in the mail
- Election officials are recommending you have your completed ballot in the mail by Thursday, Oct. 22, in order for it to be included in election night results. However, you do have until Election Day (Tuesday, Nov. 3) to get it postmarked in the mail for it to be counted, but it will probably take longer for election officials to include votes if they come in later. If you want to keep tabs on your ballot in the mail, you can sign up for Ballottrax here.
Saturday, Oct. 24: In-person early voting begins in Sacramento County
- If you don’t want to deal with ballot-by-mail at all, you can still vote in person in Sacramento County, beginning Saturday, Oct. 24. Election officials do want you to know that due to COVID-19 safety measures, wait times may be longer for voting in-person due to social distancing and sanitation. Sacramento County has universal voting.
- Click here for a list of vote center locations open on October 24.
- Click here for a list of vote center locations open on October 31.
Saturday, Oct. 31: In-person early voting begins in central valley
- For other counties, in-person voting begins a week later on Saturday, Oct. 31. Click on your county for voter information resources including polling places and ballot drop boxes: Amador, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Nevada, Placer, San Joaquin, Solano, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo and Yuba County.
- Note: Sierra and Plumas County are conducting an all mail-in ballot election.
Tuesday, Nov. 3: Election day
- Tuesday, Nov. 3, is the big day. You can still vote in-person or drop off your ballot and even register to vote in person. Sacramento County has universal voting, so you can vote at any vote center. Click here for a list of vote center locations in Sacramento County.
Friday, Nov. 20: Cut off date for postmarked ballots
- Because everyone has the opportunity to vote-by-mail, election officials will continue to accept ballots that were postmarked by or before election day up until Friday, Nov. 20.
Tuesday, Dec. 1: Election results certified